Estonia 16% 54% 26%
Czech Republic 19% 50% 30%
Sweden 23% 53% 23%
Denmark 31% 49% 19%
Norway 32% 47% 17%
Netherlands 34% 37% 27%
France 34% 27% 33%
Slovenia 37% 46% 16%
Latvia 37% 49% 10%
United Kingdom 38% 40% 20%
Iceland 38% 48% 11%
Bulgaria 40% 40% 13%
Finland 41% 41% 16%
Belgium 43% 29% 27%
Hungary 44% 31% 19%
Luxembourg 44% 28% 22%
Switzerland 48% 39% 9%
Lithuania 49% 36% 12%
Austria 54% 34% 8%
Spain 59% 21% 18%
Slovakia 61% 26% 11%
Croatia 67% 25% 7%
Ireland 73% 22% 4%
Italy 74% 16% 6%
Poland 80% 15% 1%
Portugal 81% 12% 6%
Greece 81% 16% 3%
Cyprus 90% 7% 2%
Romania 90% 8% 1%
Turkey 95% 2% 1%
Malta 95% 3% 1%
With that out of the way.
Prayer has always seemed a bit weird to me. People say things like "No matter what, God's gonna do what he's gonna do and that's that." If you say this, then why is there any need for prayer? How does it work in the system? You need to pray to show that you care? If God is going to do what he's going to do and He already has a Divine Plan for everything then A.) Is there any free will under that system if you assume that? and B.) Why does praying even matter? Why do you need to show that you care? Why are you trying to change things and cater to the heart of God by showing that you're true worshippers by praying? If it's already said and done in God's eyes, then how is catering to the heart of God going to change things? Why do you think it's going to? The bottom line is this:
If you think it's already all planned out, then why are you praying?
Why do you think you can change it by praying? Even if God likes hearing it, it doesn't matter because it's all planned out anyway.
Also, on a side note:
Faith is a SCAM. In any other arena other than religion, is faith ever an issue. Sure, you can guess and it feels good to take risks sometimes but to say that God likes faith feels like a SCAM to me now. As soon as you start asking about things too deeply and get to the point that true believers haven't really thought out things too thoroughly or just didn't want to or just couldn't or just haven't yet, they'll say "It's faith" and then wait for you to be amazed. The next question is "Why is faith good?" Then they'll basically not understand that. "Faith brings you closer to God" "God says faith is good." But why? You can't really answer that. No Christian I have ever met really can. "It's just faith." "God requires that you take a leap of faith." Why do you think that requirement is there? Is there some ulterior motive from the church? When people talk about the leap of faith, I feel like I would be jumping for no reason into nothingness...into an archaic set of a beliefs that even most of our forefathers in America didn't believe in. (More people go to church now than they did in colonial America.) Christians will admire faith for its simplicity but I'd say there's really no meaning in what they're saying and the argument could go on forever after that.
Or watch in chunks on YouTube:
Here's the first clip:
2.) When people get hit on the head hard or have strokes, sometimes their inner-voice can change...not so much in the way it sounds in their head but the way in which it functions.
3.) When people do psychedelic drugs such as LSD or shrooms, they have what they call a "religious experience." This shows that a lot of what other people call "religious experiences" might just be some chemicals firing off in their head in abnormal ways.
4.) The eternal soul is SUPPOSED to be exactly that: eternal. Where were you before you were born? Nowhere.
5. When stimulated one EGO part of the brain, religious people thought they were seeing God. Non-religious people thought they were meeting aliens. This is a real science experiment that happened.
Some points that theoretically work:
1.) The soul is eternal but the body and brain are not capable of accessing all of it's memory and/or potential.
2.) That's really all I got. The above is theoretically OK but it just seems too much like wishful thinking.
What now? I die and that's it?
Well, don't get too disturbed. It sucks but it makes you really think about NOW, this moment. You re-evaluate your one shot.
Doesn't this way of thinking make people go crazy and kill people?
I don't think so. In rare cases, maybe. It will probably make you depressed for a little while but not for forever. As for killing people, ...you believe in life being one shot, Why would you fuck up someone else's only shot?
What does it matter if it's all futile?
All of this is open for debate.
2. The Second Amendment was made in a time when everyone had pistols and rifles. Today the government outlaws big guns for normal people while they use it for themselves.
3. The Second Amendment was made so that you could protect yourself from the government or other people if you wanted to. If a SWAT team came into your house...if the government really wanted to get you, those guns you bought at Wal-Mart are not going to do dick.
4. "So are you saying we should just outlaw all guns since it's already pointless anyway as far you can tell?" Well, it would seem that way. Basically, I just want people to see these views to have a better opinion about things. I'm not offering a solution at this point. I'm just showing more arguments.
5. "If hunting was OK, then people would probably just start killing each with those. Would crime go down just because the guns would be bigger? Also, since they're bigger, it makes it harder to conceal so now when someone is coming after you with a gun, you can recognize it quicker and have more time to run!"
6. Does making handguns illegal lower crime rates? Does it lower murder cases?
7. We are living in an age of AK-47s and Uzis. This is not the age of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. We really need to take this stuff into account and not be blinded by our own blind need to "not be foreign."
I'm fine with people loving their own country but I've always hated how patriotism AUTOMATICALLY creates barriers with other people. Patriotism means you AUTOMATICALLY dislike other countries. That's the way it seems to me. I'm objective towards patriotism.
There are 48 sounds in Japanese. That's right. You can count them.
There are over 300 in English.
There are apparently other languages that have even less sounds but going from 300 or so to 48 is quite a jump and while most of the sounds are fairly easy to say and basic pronunciation is fairly simple to get...the mere lack of more sounds makes Japanese feel very stripped down.
Past Perfect (I had done that.)
Past Perfect Progressive (I had been doing that.)
Future Tense (You use the present tense and imply the future.)
Plurals (This is why they always forget it in English.)
And no language has as many expressions as English but Japanese really doesn't have that many.
And they have subjects and pronouns, but they prefer not to use them making things sound even simpler.
There is no distinction between gerund and infinitive in Japanese. In Japanese "To play baseball is fun" and "Playing baseball" is fun is the same thing.
There is no "will have done" or "will have had" or "will have been" grammatical construction in Japanese.
And in Japanese, they prefer to speak with the least amount of words. I heard a Swedish girl say that she wished they'd say something other than "kawaii," which means "That's cute." She said this because apparently in Swedish they mix it up more. The same goes in English. I've heard a lot of my friends from English speaking countries say that Japanese people say "sugoi" too much which basically means "great" or "awesome," something along those lines. The thing is,...they always fucking use this word. It's never changed up. In English, we say "cool" "awesome" "sweet" "amazing" "fantastic." That's five times as many words right there! I feel like people of European descent are always feeling like, "Use another fucking word! Sugoi is wayyyyy overused!" I overheard that there was some study saying that English speakers say three times as many different words in a day than Japanese speakers.
English does not have:
Wa and Ga ...the subject and topic markers
the Volitional form ...everyone says that "darou" and "deshou" are the "future tense" in Japanese but this is just not true. "darou" and "deshou" imply INTENTION...not a place in time! It implies one's VOLITION to do something...not the FUTURE like "will" Of course, maybe we sort of have this in English if we say "I intend to do something" but it's not EXACTLY the same, I guess.
Japanese has a shitload of onomatopeaia (sp?). More than most languages.
English has no gitaigo which is onomatopeaia for states. In English, we think of it only for mocking previous existing sounds but in Japanese they have onomatopeia words for actual states of being. This "gitaigo" as it is called is not found in English at ALL....I think.
If you're Japanese and want to talk about this further, let's debate this shit. I'm ready! I'm waiting on the retort.
8.) Elisha Cuthbert
So this is Elisha Cuthbert. She was in a pretty good movie called The Girl Next Door. She got my attention.
7.) Katherine Heigl
She was in Knocked Up. Fantastic.
6.) Gillian Anderson
Any nerd loves this girl. The X-Files was one of the best shows ever and it's also great to see her in the series as well.
5.) Elizabeth Hurley
She's getting to be a little older now but I've liked her for a long time. She probably looks her best in Bedazzled even though that movie sucked.
4.) Angelina Jolie
I probably don't like her as much as everyone else but I do like her. She's a little crazy but also really caring...basically a philanthropist. A hot philanthropist.
3.) Scarlett Johansson
After Lost in Translation, I was basically in love. I want to meet her in person.
2.) Dagmara Dominiczyk
I don't know why she's not more famous. She was Mercedes in the most recent The Count of Monte Cristo. She looks amazing in the movie. This picture doesn't do her justice.
1.) Monica Bellucci
When I saw the second Matrix, I was basically taken aback. I had never been taken aback before in a movie before because of a woman. I never really liked celebrities that much anyway. She played the Frenchman's Wife. Fantastic. She was also Mary in the Passion. Mel Gibson said that the crew tried so hard to make her ugly for the movie but it proved to be extremely difficult. It's going to take someone really special (who I've never seen) to replace this number one pick.
The tradition argument just basically doesn't hold water. Women's and black rights are only 50 years old or so. There's no tradition there. Now everyone believes in it. Not many people have problems with it. You cannot use tradition as a reason for being against gay marriage.
If you believe in one nation under God, then read my previous post about America's forefathers. All of that stuff was printed on our dollars and put into our government in the 1950s. America is not a Christian nation. Refer to the Treaty of Tripoli quote in my previous post. America is not a theocracy. It's a democratic-republic. The things in the Bible about homosexuality are there and you can say what you want about them but why do people say THAT'S God's Word when they say the "sell your daughter into slavery" thing is "just the Old Testament. We're in the New Testament now!" People say that they don't pick an choose in the Bible, they just go by the New Testament but if that's true why do you give a fuck about the Ten Commandments so much? It's OK to think they're good morals and everything but if you think that the Old Testament is basically thrown out and we're in the New Covenant now then how are the Ten Commandments relevant? They're Old Testament rules, right?!
There are a few things in the New Testament that speak out against homosexuality but the bottom line is this: If you're a parent, don't you want your kids to think for themselves and to just grow into who they are? If we are God's children, then why do you think He wouldn't be the same way? If that doesn't work, then I'll say this: Why does God predispose some people to the Devil more than others? Just because God made Adam and Eve (not Adam and Steve) does not mean that God wouldn't eventually make some people gay.
The Sanctity of Marriage
"We got married because we were going to have a kid," is what a lot of straight married couples say. For me personally, the sanctity is in the love. If two people make that choice to be together forever, then that's great. Gay or straight, I don't care. You can say that the "purest" weddings or whatever were in the biblical times but men usually had several wives at that time. Is that what you would consider pure? That's not a modern view. Also, the men chose the women, not vice-versa.
Well, the main issue is religion, I suppose but I'll address this too. There are a lot of animals that show gay tendencies and activity. Dolphins, chimpanzees, elephants. Since this isn't the religion section, we'll just ACCEPT evolution and that humans are part of the ape family. It's OK! We can be animals AND human! The nature and nurture topic is debatable but I think it's usually mostly nature with a little bit of nurture but then again it depends on the person. There can be a lot of reasons for homosexuality. One of the striking things found is that usually gay men are the youngest of his siblings. Inside the womb, the mother washes the fetus with estrogen to try to fight this foreign body and by the time the woman has had experience and enough kids, the youngest one has a higher chance of being gay because of that gained experience, the woman's body getting more used to fighting the foreign entity. This is just one example that it could just boil down to nature (i.e. SCIENCE) in most cases. Well, hell, psychology is a science too so I guess nurture can be thrown in there.
If someone thinks about something for a long time and has years and years of personal discovery and comes to the peaceful conclusion that he or she is gay, then I'd say that's real. You can say that some people's "personal discoveries" lead them to being psycho killers but being gay and being a psycho killer are two very different things. For me, just the fact that people have to wrestle with it for a long time but then finally just feel it more honest and just feel that that's really who they are,...that's enough for me.
Marriage is important as far as civil rights are concerned. Even Palin says she believes in this. If the person you love is in the hospital and you can't see him/her because he/she is not legally your spouse...then I think that's a fucked up situation.
Why do you care, Andrew? You're not gay.
Why do you care about ending slavery? You're not black? Why do you care if women can vote or not? You're not a woman. Do you see what I mean? I care about people and their rights and their fucking right to live their lives normally...with equal rights and without prejudice.
1.) If you tax the rich a lot more but the rich are still rich, what's the problem?
2.) I do have a problem with it if you tax the rich so much that they're not rich anymore. The economy is said to be based on greed and what will happen with the economy if no one can become rich anymore?
3.) I think it would be a little scary if everyone was exactly the same class. I don't think there should be class discrimination either.
4.) I don't think we should reject every socialist idea just because it can be called that dirty word, "socialism."
5.) I don't like Communism mainly because I want to be able to choose what kind of job I want and a lot of government control is a little scary.
6.) Is spreading the wealth control? There's always taxes. How come this form of taxes is automatically socialist?
7.) Sometimes, competition is bad. I wouldn't want two police or fire departments competing.
8.) Should an economy be based on greed?
9.) Should a form of government systematically destroy greed?
10.) Is greed necessarily bad for the economy?
11.) I'm kind of for a scientific approach where we study how people become happy. Most tribes work on a kind of socialist base. I think that people are willing to and are happier when they work for the group, but if the idea of the "group" or "working for the betterment of the group" it is imposed by some impersonal government entity, the "group" that you're working for at that point is too big and people will lose sight of what they're doing and become depressed. The group must be smaller and personal. That's how tribes work. I mention tribes because I'm for going back to basics. Basic human nature. I kind of like the idea of Venezuela's GNH, Gross National Happiness.
12.) And one last thing, people are always going nuts over "growth." Business growth, personal growth, etc. I think it's important to succeed but if growing is all we do and we don't monitor it more, there could be no more nature left. I don't want to turn into a tree-hugger or anything but I just want to point out that maybe we should all be more objective in our views towards "growth." We have to think about our planet and future.
On SpaceShip Earth, there are no passengers, only crew.
In The Last Samurai, one of the scenes that sticks with me is the one where Tom Cruise has not yet been fully accepted by the samurai and gets into a fight with wooden practice swords. It's basically a training session where emotions entered. Tom Cruise had not yet been properly trained very much in their style and so he was thorougly beaten down but there's this moment where he's just waving the sword on the ground. He can't even get up but all he's doing is trying to swing the sword. It's just one of those scenes that makes you think about motivation and not giving up.
I want to watch Rocky again too. That's another really great motivational movie.
"You could be somebody but you're just a bum!"
"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." -1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches, James Madison
I don't like it when people say that the founding fathers were Christian or that America is a Christian nation. Many of the founding fathers of America were Deists, not Christians. This is why a lot of people get confused. When Benjamin Franklin or Jefferson mention God or virtue or value, they tend to automatically think that they were talking about Christianity. It was actually a mixed bag, but the majority opinion was to be secularists. Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson were probably the least religious, bordering on atheism.
Taken from the Wikipedia article:
Deism is the belief that a supreme God exists and created the physical universe, and that religious truths can be arrived at by the application of reason alone, without dependence on revelation. It is in contrast with fideism, found in many forms of Christianity, Islamic and Judaic teachings, which holds that religious truths rely upon revelation in sacred scriptures and upon the testimony of other people as well as reasoning.
Deists typically reject most supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God has a plan for the universe, which he does not alter by intervening in the affairs of human life nor by suspending the natural laws of the universe.
Here are some quotes from some of the Founding Fathers:
". . . Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist." - Benjamin Franklin
"I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity." -Benjamin Franklin
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved-- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" -letter to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams
"Gouverneur Morris had often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system (Christianity) than did he himself." -Thomas Jefferson, in his private journal, Feb. 1800
"What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith." -Thomas Paine
Now there is this link that has a lot of Christian quotes from them. I would judge any quote that does not directly mention the Bible or Jesus very carefully. It could just be in reference to Deism. http://christianparty.net/christianationquotes.htm
But here are some more that might make you think differently.
"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." - Thomas Jefferson
"It has been fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse, and then I considered it merely the ravings of a maniac." - Thomas Jefferson
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." -Thomas Jefferson
Just because there are Christians in America does mean that the country has to be a Christian nation. I'm on the side of the Constitution and the Treat of Tripoli. I'm not trying to get the founding fathers on my side but I am trying to show you something that can be construed quite easily. I just wanted to show the other side.
Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin
Captain N: Game Master
Dennis the Menace
Dink the Last Dinosaur
Winnie the Pooh
Garfield and Friends
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
The New Adventures of Johnny Quest
A Pup Named Scooby Doo
The Super Mario Brothers
Tom and Jerry
I can't mention the 90s without the NickToons.
I saw every episode of:
The Ren and Stimpy Show
Rocko's Modern Life
Aaahh! Real Monsters!
Pete and Pete
Batman: the new Animated Series
The Pirates of Dark Water
Eek! the Cat
Cow and Chicken
Earthworm Jim (only like half a season was ever made)
Pinky and the Brain (although I always thought this was the weakest of the Animaniac's characters)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Then there was Snick, which was Saturday Night Nickelodeon.
Clarissa Explains It All
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Summer 1993 and 1994
Clarissa Explains It All
The Adventures of Pete & Pete
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
The Secret World of Alex Mack
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Early 1996-late 1996
The Secret World of Alex Mack
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Late 1996-early 1997
Kenan & Kel
The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo
Action League Now!
Kenan & Kel
There were some other shows that I watched maybe once or just half an episode that I did not list. Snick, NickToons, X-Men, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and Batman, and Rocko's Modern Life were and still are at the top of m list!
2. Being on a committee with a terrorist that was more than likely formed to do something very good and definitely not for terrorism does not make him a terrorist.
3. He is half-white. His very mother is white. I think calling him black is ridiculous. We should be able to call him white as well if we do that.
4. He's not an elitist. He's cutting all the taxes for the middle class. He may come off as elitist because he's very intelligent. He went to Harvard for crying out loud. Isn't the President of the United States of America the most elite office on Earth anyway? The elitist argument is worst bullshit I've ever heard. They're all elitist. The question is why is that bad? Everyone should strive to be elite. Being elite does not automatically mean hating on those you feel lower than you.
5. The Republican is using you. They always say they're Christian and whatnot. In 8 years, did Bush do ANYTHING to end abortion? Let's think about that.
6. I totally agree with John Stewart on this one. Muslim boys that died fighting for America in Iraq are American. Being Muslim automatically makes you non-American now? Why the Hell am I even talking about this when Obama is openly a Christian? Did everyone forget about his crazy CHRISTIAN pastor?
7. Are Democrats all of a sudden non-American now? Having a different opinion is non-American now? That's not the kind of America I was taught.
8. If you're the king of a country, why would you destroy your own country? If Obama is a terrorist and wins the election, what would he do?
9. Bush was eating with Osama Bin Laden's family on the morning of 9/11. There are talks that Bush planned 9/11 to gain support for his agenda, i.e. the Patriot Act and the War. When time for re-election came about, a video from Osama was released at SUCH a convenient time. The video helped secure his win. Who's the terrorist?
10. Democrats tend to fall more toward socialist views but Obama has never said he was a socialist. Look at the Patriot Act. Isn't this the scariest thing in fucking history? Doesn't this make it easier for the government to take advantage of your rights? What about the bailout? The government bailed out a company. Isn't that socialist? Why did Republicans support this bullshit? Who are you anymore?
This post was inspired from this link.
1. There was one, several, or no real Jesus figures at that time.
2. Real or not, many or one, this person became some sort of religious figure.
3. Early Christianity had no set canon as far as I can tell. All of the Bible, Apocrypha, and Lost Books were read and used ...probably depending on the tribe.
4. The religion gained some sort of popularity but really picked up steam when it was basically picked reluctantly by Constantine to be the official state religion of Rome. The Council of Nicaea picked the books they deemed fit and so formed what we now call Helios Biblia...I mean Sun Book...I mean Holy Bible.
5. After that, it became basically the religion of the West. Before that, white people were basically these pagans. I feel that since it's a part of history...deeply rooted...some people might think that's reason enough for its validity.
The questions that come to mind are:
A.) Is Christianity in America and in the West in general the same as it was during its formative years?
B.) Isn't it dangerous that today's "Christian soldiers" don't even think about this kind of history?
C.) Shouldn't people be questioning their own community's version of Christianity? How do Christians in the Middle East view their religion?
D.) Don't you know that if you're a Christian, you basically entrust your whole life to this set of books that were picked by old white guy at a council a long time ago. Of course, this question never goes anywhere because people always say the council was "divinely led." In the words of Sam Harris, that's a conversation-ender.
Anyway, since I'm posting about this stuff, I thought I'd include a video of the Lord's Prayer...being sung in Aramaic, the language Jesus (if he existed, and if that actually matters) spoke. The first version I saw but cannot find now sounded much more "Middle Eastern" but this is not bad. It's just interesting to hear it in that language.
Just one more thing before I go, I hate it when people believe the Rapture WILL happen in their lifetime. I don't care if you believe it'll happen at some point. I don't care if you say it MIGHT happen in our lifetime...but for Christ's sake, ...believing that without a doubt that the world WILL end in the next 60 or so years is madness. It is dangerous and it will not set up things in the best way, I feel, for generations to come. Anyway, the video below of this woman is just one thing that's wrong with Americans. Keep the populace stupid and they'll do whatever you want.
More recently, Obama received perhaps his most important endorsement ever. Colin Powell. He is one of the most respected public officials around today, as far as I know. Here's the video from meet the press.
This is why it's so hard to learn another language. Every language has its own standards and ideas for speaking well. In Japanese, you have to be succinct and efficient. In English, we prefer to be clear grammatically and leave little to be understood in context. If you think about it this way, the two are exactly opposite.
Japanese is concise.
English is precise.
2. McCain's rallies are going nuts. I like the way McCain's handling it though. It really shows the mentality of some of those people there. Calling Obama an Arab is fucking ridiculous. Being Muslim does not mean being Arab and vice-versa. Even if he was Arab or Muslim, who gives a fuck? Calling every Muslim a radical like the Taliban is like calling every Christian a Nazi. Bottom line. It just so happens that Obama is a (openly) a Christian. My theory is that he's not as "religious" in the right-wing sense as people may think he is.
3. Oil is king. Afghanistan attacks us and then we go into Iran and Iraq. Why? If France attacks us will we attack Germany and Austria? What the fuck? Every American just thinks "they're all the same" and that's how this mess gets support. Do you know how fucking dangerous that way of thinking is?
4. Recycling doesn't kick enough ass. Electric cars don't kick enough ass for Americans to care. Things have to really KICK ASS for Americans to give a shit. The truth is that polluting and not converting to all electric (NOT this hybrid bullshit) cars is kicking the earth's ass every day. Ask any reputable scientist on the planet. I've actually heard some Americans say that only because they don't go 150mph, they think electric sucks. Or...shit like..they just don't have that sound...or there's always some fond connection to the traditional engine. Excuse me for not being nostalgic. I don't give a fuck. I say let's get rid of all gas-powered cars for good and use gas only for aircraft until we build good enough electric engines for those too. They have electric cars that can run all day and all night for very cheap but guess what...Exxon bought the patent. Fuck that.
Also, you said," looked at from higher dimensional spaces, otherwise discrete objects become connected as aspects of one, larger object." Is there any way you can explain how these discrete objects become one? Is there an easy way for a layman to grasp this kind of thing? Thanks a lot
Matt: In order to understand how spacial dimensions can be packed into time, it's necessary to think about how space and time appear to the consciousness of a lower animal. First, take a snail. Snails have a very simple sensorium, as well as a very bare-bones nervous system (if I can be forgiven that phrase for a boneless animal.) Now, to a snail, the world it perceives is very small: essentially, only that which is immediately in front of, and immediately behind it. In essence, it perceives the world to be fundamentally one-dimensional, a line along which it travels. Of course, we can look at it and see that it's actually travelling within three dimensions, but the snail can't see that; to the snail, the other two spacial dimensions exist only as aspects of time. That is, while it can encounter other aspects of an object, it doesn't grasp the unity of those aspects, but experiences each aspect as a stand-alone.
Now, take a higher animal, say, a dog. Here the discussion gets a little more involved. Dogs - or any other animal, besides a human - are unable to form abstract concepts, because the formation of such concepts requires language. They can sense things, and they can form impressions, but that's the limit. This means that the third dimension - which can exist, cognitively, only as a concept - is fundamentally beyond their grasp. If you think about it, the third dimension is actually invisible; you can't ever see it. All the eyes can see is a two-dimensional image of reality. In the human mind, of course, that 2D spread is interpolated into three dimensions, something we can do only because we can form concepts, ie in our mind there is the concept of tree: we might see many trees, all different, but all are an example of the type 'tree', whereas for a dog or any other animal, every tree is one-of-a-kind, to be treated as an individual.
My own understanding of this is somewhat imperfect, so it could be that I'm not explaining it too well. I'll direct you to the source, then, the Russian philosopher Ouspensky:
You can find an extended excerpt from one of Ouspensky's books at that link.
At any rate, when I say that higher dimensions are packed into time, what I'm basically talking about is perception. Lower animals perceive fewer dimensions, because the higher dimensions (ie 2nd and 3rd) which we perceive, we do so by virtue of cognitive faculties which they lack. Following this chain of reasoning, it's easy to speculate that there are yet higher levels of awareness, as far beyond us as we are beyond snails or dogs, which allow the perception of higher dimensions, dimensions which appear to us be aspects of time.
Now for the second question. It's helpful to understand a bit about higher dimensional thinking, here. Diagrams would be useful, but difficult in an email, so I'll do what I can. Now, imagine that you're only able to perceive two dimensions, ie, you're a flat creature on a flat world, a living diagram on a piece of paper. If someone jabs a fork into the paper, what you'll see is four suddenly appearing line segments, apparently separate, but linked through the 3rd dimension (which is of course invisible to you.) Essentially, any group of lower-dimensional objects can be linked through higher dimensions, while leaving their lower-dimensional appearance unaltered.
Another useful conceptual tool is the idea of the wormhole, which I'm sure you've encountered due to its ubiquity in SF. What a wormhole does is link two points in space-time through a higher dimension. Togo back to our two dimensional world, say we made two little holes on opposite ends of a strip of paper. To a 2D entity, going from one hole to the other would take a certain amount of time; however, the paper can be easily folded through the 3rd dimension, such that the two
holes now touch. Of course this folding is imperceptible to the 2D entity, but if it could locate the hole it would be able to cross over to the other side of the paper instantaneously. The same logic applies at higher dimenions: lower dimensions can always be folded and connected through higher dimensions.
Now, I wasn't talking about wormholes, exactly; rather, I was alluding to the concept that discrete particles in 3D space (electrons, protons, etc) may well be projections into the 3rd dimension of a single shape in a higher dimension. Maybe the 4th, maybe the 5th, maybe the 13th. At this point, with what we know of science, it's impossible to say with any certainty.
"Thomas Jefferson is famous for the Louisian Purchase."
Which of these is more interesting. I guess both are important but a good way to get to know a historical figure and to just make it interesting is to introduce the figure with something like the first example. Every student in the room will pay attention to that. Then you can go into Louis and Clark and Louisiana, etc. American education makes things that would be interesting very boring.
like it's a way of separated things in the universe...
Matt: Through gravity, quantum entanglement, or higher dimensions (take your pick, one or all three), everything is connected instantaneously, ie,connected as though there is NO intervening space. That objects seem to be discrete, separate, and localized in space, is an illusion arising from our, which perceive other dimensions as being aspects of time. Looked at from higher dimensional spaces, otherwise discrete objects become connected as aspects of one, larger object.
Also, space isn't empty: it's filled with virtual particles (just do a wikipedia search), which pop in and out of existence almost too fast too measure (ALMOST; see Casimir effect.) Thus 'empty' space is also an illusion.
At the same time, 'matter' itself is mostly 'empty' space. But space isn't exactly empty....
So we seem to have a paradox. Which usually indicates that our understanding is imperfect. As to how, exactly, we might go about perfecting our understanding, I'm not exactly certain. However, I have a gut feeling that issues of simultaneity and non-locality (that's physics-speak for universal connectedness) will figure greatly, one way or another.
Everything is connected, of course. If All is One, how could it be otherwise? More seriously, entangled quantum systems affect each other instantaneously, regardless of distance. There's some evidence that gravity itself is an instantaneous effect. Either way leads one inescapably to the conclusion that every piece of matter, everywhere, is under the continual summed influence of every other piece of matter in the universe.
Difficult to treat mathematically, of course.
Also, don't make the mistake of three dimensional thinking. It is very likely that the only reason we perceive three dimensions is that our minds happen to work that way. At higher dimensions, every piece of matter may well be connected.
Me: What exactly is the evidence or backing or how do people support the claim
for the One? You might have already answered this in some way but I was just
wanting to clarify it. Thanks.
Matt: Evidence? What evidence? The evidence is everywhere, including inside you.
God does not give proof. It demeans him, and besides which, it serves no purpose. Think about it: at what point are you satisfied that the evidence is sufficient? No matter what were to be brought forward, at any point you can say, "Well, that doesn't prove it. It might equally be explained by x, y, or z."
Proof, of necessity, is something external to that which is to be proven. This is why you can't define a word by using the word. Thing is, when you're talking about the One, there is nothing external to it. By definition. It is everything. Thus, it cannot be proven.
Me: Thanks a lot. Can you explain in laymen's terms what waveform collapse is
and its implications to what we're talking about...thanks.
Matt: The wavefunction is the mathematical description of all the possible states a given particle might occupy, expressed as a probabilistic wave. Collapse is what happens when the particle is observed (i.e. interacts with consciousness, or is measured): the act of looking at it causes the particle to immediately jump into one of the various states from the wavefunction. In other words, collapsing the
wavefunction removes all of the possible states to leave a single remaining actual state. This might seem like a mathematical formalism or philosophical game, but actual laboratory experiment bears it out time and again: when a particle isn't being looked at, it's a wave, and when it is, it's a particle.
Me: Doesn't that have to do with light being shown on it though? Also, when humans look at something, doesn't something in the atmosphere change anyway...like...just because our heads are occupying that space? Are you saying that if we looked at it but did not recognize it, the particle would not change? Would it have to be registered consciously to change?
Matt:The question of precisely why observation causes particles to change as they do is one of the great questions of modern physics. People have been asking it since the discipline was formulated back in the 30s, and as yet, there are no satisfactory answers.
Me: But does it actually have to register in the brain to change? Are our perceptions and those electrons linked? Is it our physically looking at it that makes them change or is it actually us becoming conscious of them? This kind of thing is confusing...
Matt: Try not to anthropomorphize (difficult, I know, given we're talking consciousness here. Bear with me.) You have to be careful to see phrases like 'looking' at the particle in a somewhat metaphorical light. Cells, for example, don't 'look' at anything. They do however sense, and by doing that, exert a very low level of consciousness.
I'd even argue (and from a scientific perspective I'm way out on a limb) that atoms themselves possess a certain degree of consciousness, insofar as an atom can a) sense another atom and b) react to what it senses (ie, moving towards something that attracts it, away from something that repels it.)
Now, you can't talk about the measurement problem without talking about entanglement. The simplest way I can put entanglement is this: entanglement is what happens when the wavefunctions of two previously separate systems merge. After entangling, neither system can be described in isolation, for their have become one system. This is very important.
Now, you have an atom, alone in space. Un'observed', its wave function smears out. Then it gets perturbed by another atom; this constitutes observation, and the wave-function collapses. Those two atoms, however, are now a single system; merely by coming into contact, they have entangled, and are now described by a single wavefunction, which again smears out until it's 'observed' (ie, brought into contact with, perturbed, etc) by something outside itself ... which then merges ...and so on ... until you get to the level of the entire Universe.
Me: And how would you define consciousness? I always thought of it as something similar to sentience. Self-awareness. Animals are somewhat conscious but I wouldn't say rocks are. I'd even go so far as to say plants are probably conscious.
Matt: Even rocks have consciousness. Everything does. Consciousness is inherent in matter. Neither can exist without the other.
Me: By the way, everyone should check out Matt's own blog here on blogspot. It's at http://psikigram.blogspot.com/ . He has a lot of good stuff on there.
When someone tells me that I should not care about the afterlife so much and start to think about NOW I feel like, "Alright, I want every fucking second from now until I die to be fucking amazing. I want nothing but that. I want happiness crystallized and injected inside of me." Of course, this just can't be the case but I feel like the people that tell me about NOW don't share the same feelings.
So I asked my friend, Matt, some questions about the universe again and this was his answer(s)...
Hey, go ahead! I have no problem with this being made public. Now,
I have a few questions...
1. How can you know that the One exists?
Matt: A mixture of logic and introspection. It's difficult to communicateverbally. 'It exists because it has to'. A tautology, yes, but it captures the essence.
2. Also, I have problems believing in a soul even with your explanations.
Matt: See above.
3. You're pretty much talking about reincarnation as well.
Matt: Not pretty much, I am.
4. I really don't remember any of my past lives. Do you?
5. I have always been extremely suspicious of that kind of stuff.
6. Either this is my first time or...I dunno.
Matt: Highly doubtful. Look, the trajectory of every soul is from the One, through the world, and back to the One, each along it's own independent course but meeting at origin and destination. But now what happens after it goes back into the One? Well, everything fuses there (by definition) and then radiates out again. You could well look at it as though every soul not only follows a unique trajectory through one cycle of the universe, but a unique cycle through every universe. If the universe has had (and will have) an infinite number of cycles, that means that every soul lives every possible life. Which brings us back to the One.
(The picture I've just painted is a very linear one. It's important to note that we are in fact talking about a highly nonlinear process here, so that while from our perspective it appears as a great chain of being, in fact from other perspectives it's more like a tree or a network; higher entities might, for example, be able to incarnate simultaneously in multiple realities.)
People don't generally remember past lives for the simple reason that there are too many to remember. The human brain can only resonate with so much infornation.
7. So the purpose would then be to reincarnate enough times until you get it right? Why do you have to reincarnate? Why can't you get closer to the One in the non-physical realm?
Matt: You can. At each stage, the soul chooses to reincarnate. It does so because it wants to; what it wants to do (insofar as 'want' is a state that can be accurately ascribed to a soul) is to reach union with the One; but doing that requires not just 'wishing' it, but actually becoming it. Just like if you want to become something (say, a doctor), you can't just wish it to happen, but have to actually apply yourself and learn. Now, souls undoubtedly CAN move towards union without incarnating; in fact, at the higher levels discarnate pathways are likely the only ones remaining. It just so happens that the physical route at this level of reality is the one that has been chosen by our souls.
Hope this clarified a few things, or at least stimulated some thought.
difficult to measure and so outside the purview of science, at least
science as conceptualized in the Western tradition. It's what you get
when you take any entity - human, animal, plant, or bacterium - and
strip away everything 'external' to it. Body, memory, emotion, sense,
all of these things can be removed while still leaving the little
light of awareness intact.
Even 'dead' matter can be said to possess this spark, at a very
fundamental level, if you think about the way in which matter is
mostly empty space, with vanishingly compact concentrations of stuff
(very similar to the mathematical concept of Cantor dust) which are
able to create larger and more complex structures by virtue of their
ability to 'sense' and 'react' to other particles. The forces -
electromagnetic, gravitational, strong and weak nuclear - endow every
particle with both the ability to notice other particles (through the
forces those particles exert) and to act upon those particles (by
extering force on them), either pushing them away or pulling them
closer. In this metaphor, the material component of matter is
analogous to the spark of awareness: that which notices the world,
initiates action upon it, but is too small to see (quarks are the
smallest part that have been observed, but the laws of physics make
probing at lower levels prohibitively difficult; however the pattern
that science has so far shown indicates that the Cantor dust of matter
may well continue on to much smaller scales), and is not, itself,
fundamentally changed by anything in the outer world. That is, a
particle's position may be affected, but the motion itself does not
alter the particle in any internal way. In an analogous fashion, the
Self internal to every being cannot be altered by anything that
happens external to it, including events both within the entity and
Of course, that Self or Awareness is also identical between any two
entities, for it is found by removing all of the features that
distinguish one entity from another. Thus another way to look at the
situation is of myriad little windows upon the world, allowing the
world to perceive itself from every conceivable direction. I think of
it as God's Eyes, endlessly observing the universe and thus bringing
it into being.
Like I said, this is not the kind of thing easily penetrated by the
usual methods of science. Physics has probably made more inroads into
the subject than any other branch, but if it has done so, it has been
because it has spent centuries rigorously ignoring all of the wider
implications of its researches into the nature of matter, and swearing
blind that it is not engaged in any sort of study of the nature of
consciousness. The Eastern Vedic tradition, and the Buddhist tradition
that evolved out of it, have tackled the problem in a very scientific
fashion, though their methods - rigorous comparison of the internal
states created through contemplation, meditation, and introspection -
are so far outside the purview of Western science that even now few
scientists will even toy with the idea of their validity.
Now, you might well object that the awareness of a rock is not to be
compared with the awareness of a worm, much less a human. The best I
can put it is, while the spark of awareness of a human being is itself
exactly identical to that of a quark, the human organism serves to
amplify the ability of that spark to both perceive and act upon the
world. A quark is limited in its perceptions and actions to a few
other quarks inside a subatomic particle, whereas a human can, of
course, work at a much greater scale. Indeed, you could say that the
whole purpose of the great chain of being is to amplify the effects of
awareness so that it can operate at every possible scale.
Whew! A long answer to a short question. Let me know if you have any more.
is something else. I kind of feel that our atoms will go somewhere but I was wondering what exactly you thought. I feel like personally, our ego goes away...our way of knowing ourselves goes away and if that's gone, we're basically gone, right? Your thoughts?
Hmmm, the afterlife, eh? That's a big subject. Well, from the material
perspective, our atoms basically get recycled into the world. There's
nothing new there, of course: a being's atoms are continually being
cycled throughout its life. As for the non-material component,
assuming such exists, well now....
A lot of it comes down to how you define yourself. Obviously, if you
identify with body and ego, then death is a pretty final sort of
thing. The relevent thought experiment here is to ask how much of
'you' you can lose and still be 'you'. We can pretty safely say the
body doesn't count: if you were just a head on life support, you'd
still feel like you. Ditto senses: take away sight, hearing, touch,
taste, and smell, and you're still basically you. I'd argue the same
for memories, after all, the older you will be losing them, and the
younger you didn't have them, but you were still you.
So no body, no senses, no memories ... what's left? Just a little
spark of awareness, deep inside, essentially the same between any two
beings. This isn't Descartes' cogito ergo sum, exactly, because I'm
not talking about thought, here (individual thoughts being transient,
you can't identify the self with them.) In this sense if in no other,
every being can be said to be immortal, as that little window of
awareness exists in every entity, unchanged. So far as I can tell,
this is Eisenstein's view on the matter.
My own thoughts on the subject are a little more speculative. I'd say
that upon death, the soul retires to a contemplative zone, wherein it
reviews the life it just led, incorporates the lessons of that life
into what it has already learned from its many previous lives, and
then decides where and when to incarnate next based on what lessons it
feels are most appropriate, given what it now knows. The soul, of
course, doesn't identify with your ego, any more than you identify
with any one of your cells, and for essentially similar reasons: the
soul is a composite of a vast number of separate egos from all its
different lives, no one of which is any more important than the
others. The goal towards which every soul moves is to become one with
the One, a state which from it's perspective exists eternally (the
absolute being timeless), and from ours is probably located somewhere
around the end of the universe, when the entire physical universe has
come to life (thus allowing the entire past back to the Big Bang to be
by means of observing it into being.)
Hmm. I may have strayed a bit from the topic at hand there.
Anyhow, that's more or less how I see it. Thoughts?
by my friend, Matt